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Last night I met with a potential client to discuss their upcoming wedding here in Florida. During the conversation the subject of time was covered. In the talk we were having they were concerned with the unknown time frame between the wedding, the cocktail period out on the deck, and the reception. It was during this talk that I was able to touch on a little known fact about a Wedding Entertainer.
The Time Involved In Performing For A Wedding
Most people don't know how much time a Wedding Professional puts into an event. From flowers to photography there is a lot going on behind the scenes that the client and the guests never realize.
At the beginning of my journey for any wedding it starts out with contacting the potential client. I study the lead I receive and decide if the date is available, and if it is at a location I feel comfortable performing at. It is crucial to contact the potential client and make a good impression on them with a well-thought-out marketing approach (whole other thread ;) ).
Then there are many times when it takes more than one contact with that person before we even meet. Scheduling has to be checked by both of us. A suitable and comfortable meeting time and location is finally agreed upon, and the ball is set into motion.
Once I arrive at a meeting I have already spent at least an hour of my time in collecting info, typing up paperwork, and finally grooming myself and my attire to make the best impression during the meeting. Not to mention the fact that I am willing to drive to a location that is suitable for them. Most of the time I like to meet at the venue where it will all take place. By the way, the price of gas has gone up by about 26 cents in the last 6 days. Eek! :)
Now the time and expense in planning just the meeting itself has started to add up. All of that time can be chalked up to marketing expense. In reality the revenue created by performing at a wedding is the company's only income, so... yes I call it time spent on a job I might not even get to do. You do the math on that one. :)
A meeting can last as long as a couple of hours if the couple is really talkative... I don't mind. I have been hired to do someone's wedding after one e-mail, and one phone call. I also will sit and talk to you for two hours if you want to. There have been brides who have called me several times before we ever even meet. I think you're getting the picture.
Now it's time to begin the planning. My client has so many options. Lots of times there are a lot of things that they did not even realize were important to the planning.
How much guest interactiveness do you prefer?
How many special requests do you have?
What are your favorite types of music?
Do you have a buffet or served dinner?
There is the frequently overlooked topic of the DJ/MC's placement in the room. Please don't put the person in charge of keeping the guests informed and entertained in a location where most guests can barely see him or her. It is also wise to position the DJ and the sound system close to the dance floor,
There is a lot of good advice that comes from a seasoned wedding pro with plenty of experience.
When where and how would you like all of the nights event to happen?
The DJ plans it all in advance so that the Bride and Groom can relax, and have the time of their life on their wedding day.
There are a few fun things that a great wedding entertainer can introduce that will make these normally routine activities (buffet line etc.) into something fun for the guests without turning the whole thing into a circus. Do you want the guests to have fun with these things that are usually the boring part of the reception? It's up to the Bride.
All of the things that go into being a reliable quality Wedding Entertainer will fill up a whole new forum.
Let's just say this... Sorry for the run on sentence... Between the initial marketing, sales, music research, meetings, wedding and reception planning process (whole other thread), sound system and lighting engineering & optimization (whole other thread), home base day-of-event prep. loading and grooming (the dry cleaner know many of us by 1st name), on site equipment set up, event performance time (my favorite part), end of show break down, and then get back home and load it all back into the garage or warehouse and go to bed...
That's a lot of hours. Lots of "DJs" start their wedding day at 7am or before and many times don't get home until well after 1:00am.
It is VERY important that you receive a full, professional, smooth, polished performance throughout the scheduled performance time.
Most people who have never planned or worked at a wedding don't realize, that's really just the tip of the iceberg. It is the shining, pretty, clean, white tip of the iceberg.
A polished Wedding Professional will do all of this with a smile because that's what we love to do.
A great wedding pro loves to help make a Bride's wishes come true, and will go to great lenths to make it happen the right way.
OK now I'm tired... anyone want to join me for an iced tea?
Ugh! I spelled lengths wrong. Doh!
Many Wedding Entertainers put 10 - 20 hours into a wedding before the day of the event.
Then there's the Photographer who's work has just begun when he or she get's back to the office on Monday to process all those pictures. Hats off to you..
I could really go for that iced tea right about now, as long as it is a long island iced tea, hahaha!
I'm a bride-to-be planning my wedding in August 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. I seen on your profile and here in your post that you are from Florida, so for obvious reasons I won't make you start the clock on my behalf, but I did just want to say that I appreciate you taking the time to write about all of the time that you put into planning a wedding as an entertainer.
I am new to this site and I know it's a new website, but I'm thankful to get any information I can get to help me to plan my wedding, inspire ideas for my wedding, and to even be informed on what the wedding professionals put into planning my wedding on their side of things, this is all very helpful and I hope to read more from you soon..... going to check now if you have anymore posts anywhere, or if not comment on my profile when you post anything new.
I'm really looking to read up on as much as I can to plan my wedding!
Since you are a wedding DJ.... could you tell me what your most requested songs are for a couples first dance, and also father / daughter songs and some good songs for a mother / son dance too? Maybe this could be a new post for you to write about? This would really help me to plan out my own music, and would mean a lot to me getting it from an expert.
Thank you DJ Tunes!!
Amen to that! I am a wedding officiant, and, yes, it involves more than standing in front of the couple for a few minutes and reading from a book! It is my belief that every couple should have a wedding ceremony (a part from the reception) that they will remember and cherish for a lifetime. I don't do "cookie cutter" or "canned" ceremonies. Every ceremony that I do is created with and for the couple. I meet with them either in person or via Skype, I provide them with a wealth of information on planning a ceremony...the form of the ceremony, writing their own vows, a selection of vows, blessings, readings and other special things that they might want to add. I create their ceremony, send them a draft, revise the draft and after it is "finished," I make a special keepsake booklet of their wedding ceremony for them.
While I don't require it, I am also available for counseling should the couple desire. My responsiblity doesn't end when the ceremony is over, as I am responsible by law to file the marriage license within a certain lenght of time...or face hefty fines! All of "my couples" are very special to me, and I am "friends" with many of them on Facebook long after the wedding is over.
That's really cool... the part about creating a personalized wedding ceremony. I see a some ceremonies that are over in about four minutes. Someday I'll get married, and I'll want my vows to be more than just a blink of an eye.
To each his own though. :)